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Fund raiser brings dead to life

Lu Snyder

FRISCO – It’s not often one has the chance to visit with people buried in a graveyard.On Saturday, the Frisco Historical Society is holding a cemetery tour and party – offering residents, history hounds and tourists an opportunity of a past lifetime.”It sounds kind of weird, I know,” said historical society executive director Rita Bartram, “but it’s really fun.”This is the third time the historical society has hosted a tour and party at the Frisco cemetery, near the marina, but it’s been several years since the last one. The idea originated as a way to raise money to purchase gravestones “because there are so many unmarked graves in the cemetery,” Bartram said.In addition to being a fund raiser, the event also is a great way to learn local history and have some fun, too.The three tours give guests a chance to peek into history. Several Frisco residents – including Mayor Bob Moscatelli and Councilmember Bernie Zurbriggen – have agreed to play the parts of several people buried in the town’s cemetery.Each tour will stop at seven graves, where residents dressed in costume portraying the deceased share a bit of their part in history, Bartram said. (Reservations are not required, but Bartram asked that visitors choose the tour – 3:30, 4 or 4:30 – most convenient for them so the tours will be more balanced in number, rather than everyone crowding into the first tour as has happened in the past.)Among the highlighted personalities are Susan Badger, known for giving a nickel to the child who presented her with the first May flower each spring; Henry Recen, who founded Frisco; a miner; and a soiled dove (another term for prostitute).Recen is the only one featured in the tour who is not actually buried in the cemetery. Bartram said he’s buried on the Gore Range Trail, but since he is such an important part of Frisco’s past, it seemed necessary to include him on this walk through history.The miner and soiled dove do not have identities, per se. Bartram said there isn’t enough information to know all of those buried in the cemetery, but since mining and prostitution were a part of Frisco then, historical society officials created a composite of various true stories to represent those left unnamed.The historical society raised enough money from the first two fund raisers to purchase 20 gravestones, Bartram said. Thirteen already have been placed, and the remaining seven will be erected this week.Bartram said the money from this year’s party will be used to purchase benches for the cemetery.Light appetizers, beer, wine and soft drinks will be offered after the tour, and local musician Keith Synnestvedt will entertain guests with guitar and song.There are no backup plans in case of rain, and Bartram said she has no plans of canceling the event with inclement weather.Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or lsnyder@summitdaily.com—When & Where- What: Frisco’s Past Revisited – a cemetery tour and party- Where: Frisco cemetery, near the Frisco Marina- When: 3 – 6 p.m.Saturday (three tours will be offered at 3:30, 4 and 4:30 p.m.)Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased at the event or in advance at the Schoolhouse Museum.For more information, call (970) 668-3428.


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